Sleeping Next to Your Phone: Is It a Bad Idea?

The phone is a must in everyday life and by now the device accompanies us everywhere. Only, there is one place where it should not accompany us: on the nightstand. Find out why the phone should not follow us when it’s time to sleep. Exchanging with our loved ones, listening to music, watching videos are all things that our smartphone allows us to do. However, it should not be taken everywhere, and this is especially the case in the bedroom. This device should not be placed on the nightstand. The increasing use of social media has made smartphones indispensable. They allow us to be connected at any time of the day and keep up to date with everything our friends and contacts are up to thousands of miles away.

Where to put the cell phone when we want to sleep?

Gabriela Paoli, psychologist and author of the book “Digital Health: Keys to Healthy Use of Technology” knows a lot about this topic and urges us to keep the phone out of reach when we go to sleep, as it could keep us awake at night and prevent us from falling back asleep. “If we wake up in the night, we will certainly be tempted to log on and we will lose hours of sleep, which will cause us negative consequences the next day. Fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability or aggressiveness are some of these consequences. So, when we go to sleep, where should we leave our phone? The answer is simple: anywhere we can’t reach from our bed. Gabriela Paoli recommends several things, but most importantly, she recommends turning off Wi-Fi. “If it’s important to turn off Wi-Fi, I recommend putting the phone in airplane mode and leaving it in another room. And go back to the old, healthy habits: waking up and reading a good book or listening to a radio show to fall asleep. That way, you won’t be tempted to log on at night and deprive yourself of hours of rest.”

Claudia Gómez, psychologist, recalls that it is advisable to sleep without a cell phone. It is especially aimed at highly dependent people and recommends that before going to bed (1 hour or 30 minutes) generally avoid the use of screens to avoid problems falling asleep and thus enjoy a quality rest. “When we use screens just before bedtime, we delay the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for inducing sleep. Our rest and the quality of our sleep are affected,” she explains.

Nowadays, it seems strange to us not to see someone constantly hanging with their smartphone in their hand. We have normalized this fact so much that on many occasions we feel embarrassed if we don’t have the phone nearby. When we feel a very intense need to be on that device all day, we can identify with some of these aspects highlighted by Claudia Gómez:

  • Restlessness when we don’t have the phone close by while eating or sleeping.
  • Not being able to fall asleep when the phone is not on
  • Constantly checking new social media notifications and messages
  • Constantly checking the home screen for new messages
  • Restlessness or nervousness when we don’t leave the house with 100% battery or it is discharged

It is important to take these aspects into account, as they can reinforce and create a great emotional discomfort in the long term and have a lasting impact on well-being. Do not hesitate to seek psychological help if you notice one or more of these symptoms.

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